From what I could find out with some help from my good friend the internet, this is a reissue of the second album released sometime in the mid-‘80s by Verbal Abuse with a large smattering of bonus tracks. The only thing I’ve ever known about Verbal Abuse before this stuff is that a good seventy-five percent of the kids with a punk patch jacket seem to have that Verbal Abuse logo with the crazy-looking guy somewhere on their person. The music itself is very much in the vein of the mid-‘80s era Mystic hardcore bands like RKL and Dr. Know. Actually, they remind me a lot of early RKL, which is manically shouted skate punk with some slight metallisms in the guitar every now and then. This kind of hardcore, I’ve found, is subject to an odd law of diminishing returns. Namely, it’s that none of this style of semi-thrash punk is ever really bad, but it’s usually very homogenous. The result is that when you first hear a band playing this kind of punk, it’ll sound amazing and maybe even life changing, but after the initial band has taken strong root in your heart, none of the subsequent bands you hear that play in this vein ever sound quite as good, even if it’s through no fault of the band for not getting your ears first. That said, the first bonus track “Fun, Fun, Fun” (not a cover of the Big Boys song) is pretty damn catchy and sticks out. The live tracks all actually sound pretty good too, and are about as strong as the studio stuff. The thing I really like about these tracks is the audience noise that makes it sound like the band was playing the opening slot at Cheap Trick’s Budokan show, because they sound like they’re in a stadium full of thousands of excited Japanese school girls or something, instead of the VFW hall or shitty bar that I’m almost certain they had to of been actually playing.
–Adrian (Malt Soda)